Cycling alumni exercise their school spirit

Cycling alumni exercise their school spirit
Jim Tamm and Kim Harrison prepare for the Baroudeur.

Jim Tamm and Kim Harrison’s Wayne State pride has only grown since they graduated from the university in 1982.

“We’re some of the few alums that still regularly attend football games,” said Jim, who played football at Wayne State under coach Dick Lowry.

The married couple started their campus involvement as undergraduates, with Jim pursuing a degree in what was then a new public affairs program while also leading a student film group. Kim pursued her B.A. in economics with the help of a supportive faculty.

“As a self-supporting student, I had to work a lot during the day and found professors very accommodating,” said Kim. “It was a fabulous education and very encouraging educational community.”

Now, in addition to attending football games and shows at the Hilberry and Bonstelle theatres, Kim and Jim ride in Wayne State’s Baroudeur, a cycling event that helps raise money for the university’s general scholarship fund. The ride offers three routes for all levels of cyclists: a 25-mile ride to Belle Isle, a 62-mile metric century ride to Corktown and a 100-mile ride to Grosse Ile. Last year’s inaugural event raised more than $10,000 for scholarships.

While Jim is a seasoned cyclist, Kim has only recently begun riding more seriously. She has been impressed by the support and camaraderie of the event, as well as the weekly Tuesday night training rides. Rob MacGregor, senior director of planned gifts at Wayne State, organizes the weekly rides.

“Every ride has been different, and Rob's really been organizing and adapting to the changes and giving everyone a great experience,” Kim said.

The couple also enjoys getting a unique glimpse of the streets and neighborhoods of Detroit. “When people see you riding in Detroit,” Jim said, “they cheer, they honk their horn, they wave. It’s a great place to ride.”

Because the Baroudeur is noncompetitive, Kim suggests that riders of all levels sign up for the event. “You will find riders that you can gel with,” she said. “There's something truly for everyone, and they even provide ride support if you need to repair your bike.”

In addition to the Baroudeur and the other ways Kim and Jim stay involved with Wayne State, the couple has made philanthropic gifts across a variety of programs and schools.

“We were fortunate that Wayne State made us the people we are and gave us the opportunities that it did,” said Jim. “We felt compelled to give back, so we do.”

Learn more about the Baroudeur ride at

(July 13, 2016)

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